Elon Musk’s social media platform, X (formerly Twitter), is worth less than half of what the tech billionaire bought it for in October 2022, an internal memo has reportedly revealed.
According to an Oct. 30 report from Bloomberg, an internal memo and sources familiar with the matter said that restricted stock units recently paid to employees of the company were valued at $45 a share, which puts the company’s value at around $19 billion — less than half of the $44 billion that Musk paid for the company on Oct. 27, 2022.
Musk has made a series of controversial moves since taking over the platform, including rebranding it to X, changing many of its content rules and laying off approximately 80% of the company’s workforce.
Musk’s drastic changes, along with his outspoken presence on the platform, also appear to have made his company less popular with advertisers, with Musk saying in July that X had lost roughly half of its total advertising revenue.
Meanwhile, the significant drop in revenue has made the servicing of Musk’s debt worrisome for the firm as a whole. As of the time of publication, X reportedly owes around $1.2 billion in interest payments on its roughly $13 billion in total debt.
Musk has made it clear that he wants to rely more heavily on paid user subscriptions, but as of right now, less than 1% of the platform’s total user base has decided to fork over money for a premium subscription, which equates to less than $120 million in annual revenue.
Cointelegraph contacted X for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
On the other hand, some have seen benefits from Musk’s tenure at the company.
One of the popular additions to the platform under Musk has been paying individual creators for their engagement by way of revenue-sharing payments.
Recently, Musk announced that any posts corrected by the Community Notes feature would become “ineligible for revenue share” — a move that seeks to prioritize accurate information over purely viral and potentially inaccurate content.
Making a slight change to creator monetization:— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2023
Any posts that are corrected by @CommunityNotes become ineligible for revenue share.
The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism.
Meanwhile, Musk has repeated on numerous occasions that he means to turn X into an “everything app” — largely inspired by the super apps popular in Asia such as WeChat — which would see the social media platform expand to include a range of financial services, video calls and other lifestyle use cases.
There are also hopes that X will integrate cryptocurrency in some way in the future.